Over the past few months, there have been numerous reports mentioning discolored water in various neighborhoods around West Seattle. While this is somewhat normal, as water discoloration can be caused by a few different things, the frequency with which it is occurring is alarming, especially for those who have had dark-colored water coming out of their taps.

The official statement from Seattle Public Utilities is that Myrtle Reservoir had been emptied in order to apply earthquake-resistant upgrades to it and that has led to some of this discoloration. In basic terms, sentiment has been stirred up because of these upgrades, leading to problems with the drinking water that has entered certain homes.

While citizens certainly don’t like having murky water come through their taps, and are unlikely to drink this water, the city would have you believe that it is still completely safe to drink.

Another concern is the drought conditions that have plagued King County this year. Because of the lack of rain, the city has been drawing water from the Cedar River Watershed, which is a different source than is normally used. Once again, the end result is that the water is a different color than it should be.

It will take a complete winter with a significant amount of snow to replenish the aquifer, so we could be dealing with these water problems for months to come. In addition, there is no guarantee that enough snow will fall to rectify the situation or that we won’t find ourselves in the exact same scenario next year.

Chlorine in the Water

One problem that commonly occurs when water quality issues arise is that the city will add more chlorine to the supply to ensure that it is safe to drink. The idea is that the chlorine kills the bacteria and, therefore, cleans the water. The issue is that this creates another health problem, since you will be ingesting chemicals every time you take a drink from the tap. Also, chlorine has a distinct taste that many people don’t like, further complicating the situation.

Is it Safe?

Of course, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the water is safe to use. The city maintains that this water is harmless, as it is being checked regularly for bacteria and other pollutants that could affect its quality.

At the same time, there is a reason for some concern, as the city clearly doesn’t have a clear grasp on the situation. While city officials have told people who run into water quality problems to call their Operations Response Center, this doesn’t immediately rectify the problem and could leave you without drinking water.

What to Do

Even if you haven’t run into problems with your water quality yet, it could happen in the near future. For this reason, a number of Seattle residents are investing in water filtration systems for their homes. Once these systems are installed, you will have an endless supply of clean, safe water for your family.

Having a filtration system installed can actually save you money in the long run because you won’t have to worry about buying bottled water every time there are water quality problems in the city.

Since the city is now covering its water problem up by adding more chlorine to the supply, a filtration system is even more beneficial. Having a system installed removed chlorine and other chemicals from your drinking water, leaving you with fresh, pure water.

Human beings aren’t meant to consume chemicals or bacteria found in our water. This is an issue that is common in many third world countries, but isn’t something that we would expect here. Luckily, we all have the option of installing a water filtration system in Seattle to ensure that waterborne illnesses don’t become an issue in our homes.

Meet the Author
Jason Hunts
Jason Hunts

company icon